How To Love Mud as Much As Your Toddler
Lose Your Inhibitions and Get The Mud Between Your Toes
Toddlers explore their worlds through their hands and messy games increase their brain power and creativity. Forget that they are probably causing your blood pressure to increase at the same time and you will be amazed at how much fun it can be if you take the trouble to join them and turn their games into organized chaos.
Most toddlers jump at the opportunity to play in mud and by joining in their muddy activities you can grab the opportunity of teaching them to love the earth. The world is going to need a lot of tree huggers in the next generation if the earth is to survive. So you will be doing not only your child but the earth a world of good to kick off your shoes, put on some old clothes and teach them the joy of getting mud between your toes.
You can start off simply. Get them to help you with some garden chores and after you have watered the garden make some time to play in the mud. This can be very therapeutic for adults as well as the toddlers.Playing in mud has a strange way of bringing us down to earth and to the level of your little toddler. Explore the mud with him between your fingers and toes and look for earthworms.
Lessons from Mud
Demonstrate the versatility of mud to your toddler. Show him how it can be used in different ways depending on the texture. Very wet mud is squishy whereas drier mud can be piled and shaped.
Little toddler girls can make mud cakes and little boys can build roads for their little cars. Teach them the art of face painting with mud and allow them to wallow in the mud if that is what they want.
Teach them how mud is formed when it rains and how some animals need mud to survive. How Hippopotamus need mud to cool them off and about Flamingos and Magpies build their nests in mud.
Activities for Toddlers
Dig a hole and fill it with water and allow the toddlers to play to their hearts content. They will derive hours of pleasure from something as free and easy as water and sand.
In the process you will be allowing them to explore with their hands. This could be their introduction to a love of nature and the good, natural things that the earth has to offer.
Plant seeds and make it their responsibility to take care that they are watered on a daily basis. Teach them to love the earth and everything it gives back to us.
What To Do When The Mud Games are Over
Once all the excitement is over and you are faced with a dirty little toddler strip him of all his clothes and put him in the bathtub. Let him soak for a while to get the mud loose. Wash him and his hair and after the bath remember to rub in some skin lotion. Mud has a way of drying out their tender skins.
Put on some nice clean clothing and prepare yourselves a meal. Mud games have a habit of building up a healthy appetite. Probably all the nice clean fresh air.
What About Their Clothing?
Firstly if this was organized chaos I presume that your toddler was appropriately dressed. If your toddler did this all by himself he may have not had his oldest clothes on and you may be in a state of panic.
Secondly do not try to remove wet mud from clothing. Allow the mud to dry completely. Trying to remove mud while it is still wet will spread the mud and cause more harm than good. When once the mud is dry scrape off any excess dirt with a plastic knife or spoon taking care not to damage the fibers of the fabric.
Brush the soiled areas of the clothing gently with an old toothbrush or a small brush and then place a drop or two of liquid dishwashing soap or liquid hand soap onto the stains. With your thumb and forefinger gently rub the liquid soap into the stain. While adding a few drops of water onto the area brush the stain using a circular motion and repeat the process on the inside of the clothing in the stained area. If necessary repeat the process until the stain is gone. If the stain is stubborn treat the area with a stain removing treatment of your choice and launder as per the instructions on the packaging. Always wash soiled garments separately to prevent staining other clothing and never dry stained garments until you are satisfied that the stain has been removed. Tumble drying or ironing clothes that are stained will set the stain diminishing your chances of getting the stain out.
Enjoy the mud with your children and remember even if you do end up throwing the clothes out or keeping them for the next muddy experience your toddler would have learned more then a pile of dirt.
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